Explosions rock FSB building in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, other nearby communities

23 May, 12:47 PM
Currently, the road near the FSB building in Belgorod is blocked (Photo:Оперативний ЗСУ/Telegram)

Currently, the road near the FSB building in Belgorod is blocked (Photo:Оперативний ЗСУ/Telegram)

An explosion rocked the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast overnight on May 23, according to local reports.

Smoke was seen billowing from the premises on Preobrazhenskaya Street, with authorities refusing comment despite closing the street.

Explosions were also recorded in the settlements of Grayvoron and Borisovka, with Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov blaming UAV attacks in a May 23 Twitter post.

Video of day

Previously, the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) claimed to have “completely liberated” the settlement of Kozinka in Belgorod Oblast, while also entering the town of Grayvoron after initiating its storming.

Most residents in the Grayvoron district have evacuated, with the local administration having declared a “counter-terrorism operation,” said Gladkov.

He acknowledged that Russian forces do not control part of the oblast’s territory, stating that a “territory clearance” operation conducted by the Ministry of Defense and law enforcement agencies is underway in Grayvoron.

He advised evacuated residents not to return until it is safe to do so.

“We will inform immediately, and I will share the information on my social media, and the heads of local self-government will convey it when it is secure,” said Gladkov.

An elderly woman died during the evacuation, with the cause still under investigation, he said, adding that “two civilians were injured” in the towns where the volunteers of the Freedom of Russia Legion and the RVC entered.

RVC troops, fighting against the Russian occupation forces in Ukraine, announced that they had again penetrated Russian territory on May 22. They posted a video near signposts indicating the names of settlements in regions bordering Ukraine.

The Freedom of Russia Legion declared on May 23 that they are advancing further into Russian territory.

“Good morning to everyone except Putin’s lackeys! We greeted the dawn on the liberated territory and continue moving forward,” the Legion’s Telegram message stated.

The Legion and the RVC called on people to provide them with information about the movement of security forces in the border regions of Russia.

The Freedom of Russia Legion is a unit within the Armed Forces of Ukraine, established in March 2022 to combat the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russian Volunteer Corps was formed in August 2022. Both units consist primarily of ethnic Russian emigrants who previously resided in Ukraine and other European countries.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (HUR) referred to the actions of the Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps in Belgorod Oblast, Russia, as the “establishment of a security zone” to protect Ukrainians.

Andriy Yusov, a HUR representative, commented to Ukrainian media that the Legion and RVC were engaged in the “creation of a security zone” in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast to protect Ukrainians.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the President’s Office, also confirmed that Ukraine has no connection to the actions of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Legion in Belgorod Oblast.

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